Code Insulation

Or, ‘Just because its open source I don’t want to have to compile it every time’.

Dee mentioned using vendor branches to manage 3rd party source.

I choose to avoid them. If I’m using a 3rd party library, I want a released binary. Recompiling someone else’s source as well as my own seems like a waste of time.

With respect to ‘fixing in place’, sure, if I know a solution I’ll submit a patch, but fixing in place means forking the 3rd party codebase, which (depending on the license) might oblige me to release it back to the community (which means time spent not getting work done), and opens a real potential for causing merge hell when I want to use a new version of the library. This happened to me a few weeks ago. Had the project done either of encapsulating access to the 3rd party code, or stuck with a binary version, the upgrade would have been far easier.

Advertisements